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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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GunnLeif Merl I 93VIII (Bret 161)

Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Breta saga 161 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá I 93)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 126.

Gunnlaugr LeifssonMerlínusspá I

text and translation

Hér munk létta         ljóð at semja
ok spásǫgu         spillis bauga.
Þó eru fleiri orð         ins fróða manns;
hefk sumt af þeim         samit í kvæði.

Hér munk létta at semja ljóð ok spásǫgu {spillis bauga}. Þó eru fleiri orð ins fróða manns; hefk samit sumt af þeim í kvæði.
‘Here I will leave off composing the song and the prophetic tale of the destroyer of rings [GENEROUS MAN = Merlin]. Yet there are more words of the wise man; I have arranged some of them in a poem.

notes and context

At this point Gunnlaugr suspends his rendering of the Prophecies. For the significance of this and the following stanza, see the Introduction.


Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínússpá II 93: AII, 35, BII, 43, Skald II, 27; Bret 1848-9, II, 71 (Bret st. 161); Hb 1892-6, 282; Merl 2012, 201-2.


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